Monday, 17 June 2019
We recently had a new client come to us for advice following a summons to the First-tier Tribunal. Amongst other Repairing standard issues the landlord had not put the tenants' deposit in the tenancy deposit scheme for over two years.
In a panic, at being summoned for a repairing standard issue, the landlord had quickly lodged the deposit to show the tribunal that they were now complying with all legislation. Their tenant who had been unaware of the deposit status was then alerted to the fact that the deposit hadn’t been previously lodged with a deposit scheme because they received a notification of the deposit being recently lodged with “My Deposits Scotland”. Having taken advice on the repairing standard issue the tenant was now told that they could also pursue the landlord for not lodging the deposit.
At the tribunal for the deposit, a very dim view was taken of the landlord’s action and the panel noted that because the deposit had not been lodged in a government regulated tenancy deposit scheme the law had been broken. If the deposit is not lodged within 30 days of receipt and certificates issued a landlord will be fined without fail. The Landlord was required to repay the deposit and an additional £2500 to the tenant! We note that the fines are getting steeper and the maximum allowance is more often awarded.
The maximum fine a landlord can receive is three times the amount of the deposit and in addition to this whilst the deposit is not lodged you will be unable to evict a tenant on the SAT type of tenancy.
There is a solution to this dilemma if you act before your tenant takes you to a tribunal. Please call us to discuss any problems you may be experiencing with your tenancy.